A few weeks ago we shared a picture of an interesting online brand called Casper. We were impressed with the company’s business model – selling mattresses online.
We were so impressed we visited the brands website and poked around a little. Cool stuff! A total disruption to an age old, established way of getting a better sleep.
But since then we have been stalked. Every time we search another website like Facebook, Youtube and others, we are shown a number of Casper ads. This is not the first time this has happened. We are sure many of you have experienced this with a host of clever brands who use web analytics to inform their targeted marketing. Now, we can probably adjust our browser settings to reduce this somewhat but we can’t help feeling annoyed at this current brand interaction. We know Casper is just trying to make a living and being smart about using their advertising budget but what are the assumptions around how frequently we need to see this ad before converting and buying a mattress?
When do analytics and the actions they drive go too far and backfire?
We can’t help but feel that some brands go too far. Perhaps this is just the growing pains of using social media as a promotional tool. Perhaps some customers want and need these constant reminders and appreciate the attention. We don’t. Neither of us have an interest in buying a mattress right now. Both of us have a mattress that works fine. But we are being treated the same way as a customer who is “in the market” and is currently comparing offers with tired eyes and a sore back.
This form of advertising, which on the surface seems highly strategic, can easily backfire on marketers and potentially harm brand integrity if consumers feel it has crossed a line of invasiveness and annoyance.
How can brands and data scientists refine the call to action from analytics to drill down further and create user specific ad frequency or be brave enough to ask consumers if they even want a stalker ad in the first place? We are sure it will follow in the near future.
Tony Whitehouse & Bruce Winder
Co-Founders & Partners
Retail Advisors Network™
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